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General News    H4'ed 5/6/21

Will Brick and Mortar Shopping Survive Devastating Odds?

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Who remembers shopping?
Who remembers shopping?
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Brick and mortar stores and shopping malls hit the trifecta in 2020. Internet competition, Covid-19 and looting caused by social unrest. In Chicago, affluent shopping areas remain boarded up while Amazon delivery trucks float down deserted residential streets - stopping at almost every home. Think about that.

Brick and Mortar Woes

But even before the retail trifecta, a new, retail climate was detectable - "No" signs began appearing on store doors: No Food, No Drinks, No Strollers, No Change, No Public Restroom, No Soliciting, No Bills Over $20, (during Covid: No Cash), No Pets. Stores that catered to students added No Backpacks, No More Than 3 Students At a Time and No Leaning On The Counter to the No list.

Of course today No Entry Without a Mask has been added.

Another concern also generates signs in stores, one seen before Covid - "shrinking inventory." Theft is why signs outside fitting rooms read Only Three Garments Allowed at One Time and are underscored by a Video Surveillance In Use sign. Years ago, most stores installed retail theft technology like alarms and some made customers check bags over a certain size before shopping. Not that the customers weren't trusted or anything.

A Change From the Golden Age of Retail

During the golden age of American retail, employees greeted and beseeched customers like old friends and not just because they were on commission - it was the retail culture. In malls and department stores, perfume hostesses and makeup artists waved at women who might want a makeover or need one.

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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)

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